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BMO Harris Bank Donates Additional $750 ,000 to United Way of Greater Milwaukee to Fight Infant Mortality Crisis

MILWAUKEE, WI--(Marketwired - Nov 10, 2014) - BMO Harris Bank today announced an additional donation of $750,000 to United Way of Greater Milwaukee to build on its efforts to promote healthy birth outcomes and reduce Milwaukee's African American infant mortality rate by 15 percent and the overall rate by 10 percent by 2017. BMO Harris Bank's donations now total $1.5 million over six years.

The additional funds will allow United Way to continue investing in critical programs at a number of community-based organizations throughout the city to ensure more babies make it to their first birthday and continue to thrive.

"BMO Harris Bank's generous support has helped us address the complex issue of infant mortality by funding initiatives that we know work," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. "I'm grateful for BMO's commitment to a healthy community and to protecting our most vulnerable residents."

In 2012, BMO Harris Bank pledged $750,000 through 2015 to launch United Way's Healthy Birth Outcomes Initiative. These funds went toward expanding the program, building a strategic developmental team and Progressive Community Health Center's Obstetrics Medical Home Program. The bank now has pledged an additional $750,000 for the coming three years to grow the program's reach. 

"This collaboration has made a difference here for Milwaukee families. There's more work to be done, and we know this program will continue to do the work it takes to help keep our most vulnerable children healthy," said Brad Chapin, Executive Vice President, Business Banking, BMO Harris Bank. "It's very meaningful to our bank and our teams that we're part of helping to make that happen." 

BMO Harris Ba nk's initial donation has been invested in 11 programs at several United Way partner agencies:

  • $200,000 to the Women's Outpatient Center at Wheaton Franciscan - St. Joseph, resulting in 89 percent of moms delivering a baby with a healthy birth weight and 92 percent of moms beginning prenatal care in their first or second trimester.
  • $100,000 to Progressive Community Health Centers' OB Medical Home Program, which has funded education on safe sleep environments for 100 percent of participating families. 
  • $35,000 to Pathfinders - Rosalie Manor's Healthy Families Milwaukee program, expanding their reach from one hospital to include recruitment from all Milwaukee WIC centers, which has broadened their outreach to more at-risk families.
  • $90,000 to Aurora Health Care's Healthy Next Babies program, funding expanded participation to all low-income (200 percent Federal Poverty Level) African American new mothers who have experienced an adverse birth outcome and expanding its reach beyond serving only low-income women receiving Medicaid.
  • $41,680 to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Dental Clinic's Prenatal Dental Program at Columbia St. Mary's.
  • $35,000 to Mental Health America of Wisconsin's Strong Families Healthy Homes program.
  • Additional grants are pending.

"We are already seeing the impact from the first year of investments in these and other programs. Moms in BMO-funded Healthy Birth programs are carrying babies to term, delivering babies who are a healthy weight, providing safer sleep environments, and receiving family supports that will continue well past delivery," said Nicole Angresano, Vice President of Community Impact at United Way of Greater Milwaukee. "BMO 's commitment to this critical issue is leading to healthier families today and ultimately, to a healthier community."

Through the Healthy Birth Initiative, United Way and BMO Harris Bank are committed to helping reach the community-wide goal set by Mayor Tom Barrett to reduce Milwaukee's African-American infant mortality rate by 15 percent and the overall rate by 10 percent by 2017 through:

  • Raising awareness about existing racial and ethnic birth outcome disparities
  • Identifying and funding evidence-based programs that target the root causes and work to create positive birth outcomes
  • Measuring the collective impact of the funded programs

For more information on United Way's Healthy Birth Initiative, visit

About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through more than 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Banking products and services are provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. and are subject to bank or credit approval. BMO Harris Bank® is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with approximately 1,600 branches, and CDN $586 billion in assets (as of July 31, 2014).

About United Way of Greater Milwaukee: United Way of Greater Milwaukee improves our community by mobilizing people and resources to drive strategic impact in Education, Income and Health -- the building blocks for a good quality of life. Learn more at:

Be part of the change:

About United Way United Way, a worldwide movement in 41 countries and territories, includes more than 1,200 local organizations in the United States. It advances the common good by focusing on education, income and health -- the building blocks for a good quality life. LIVE UNITED is United Way's call to action for everyone to give, to advocate and to volunteer to improve conditions in their local community. For more information about United Way, please visit:

For further information:

Media Contact:
Alexis Brown
(312) 461-6543
Twitter: @BMOMedia

Media Contact:
Lori Holly
(414) 263-8111, or (414) 305-7559